Unique Depth Distribution of Clays in SAT Alfisols: Evidence of Landscape Modifications

  • D. K. Pal


Many SAT Alfisols of the Indian sub-continent show an increase in clays with depth to a maximum and then decreases until it remains constant or completely disappears and fulfills the textural criterion of an Alfisol. In contrast, many SAT red ferruginous Alfisols, mainly Paleustalfs and Rhodustalfs of southern India have clay content of about 10–15% in the Ap horizon, immediately followed by a well-developed argillic (Bt) horizon with a clay content of >30%. This is a unique situation in pedological parlance and thus needed a scientific explanation. Detailed clay mineralogical investigations along with the geomorphic and climatic history of such Alfisols indicate that these Alfisols are developed on the old rock system of the earth and represent relict paleosols. The unique depth distribution of clays bears the testimony of the landscape modification affected through the truncation of Alfisols developed in the preceding humid climate.


Alfisols Southern India Truncation of soil profile Climate change 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. K. Pal
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-NBSS&LUPNagpurIndia

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